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Crisis and Issues Communications

Class Descriptions: Crisis and Issues Communications

Class 46: Crisis Communications

Entries must be submitted online. No physical entries may be shipped.

Judging: Crisis identification/analysis 25%, Planning/development/execution 50%, Results 25%

Class Description: Materials submitted should document efforts to respond to a crisis. Such efforts could be of short or long duration, depending on the situation. Submissions should include:

  • An explanation of the crisis situation, including its context and the time frame involved.
  • Information on message development and identification of target audience(s).
  • Description of the goals of the communications efforts.
  • Description of strategies, activities and/or tactics adopted to communicate about the situation, including, for example, any spokesperson coaching provided by communications staff and the communications vehicles used in the effort.
  • An assessment or evaluation of the efficacy of the communication effort. The assessment need not be complicated or formal, but it should provide some indication of how the goals of the communications were achieved as a result of the crisis management effort.

Class 47: Issue Management

Entries must be submitted online. No physical entries may be shipped.

Judging: Issue identification/analysis 40%, Planning/development/execution 40%, Results: 20%

Class Description: Issue Management Campaign

Materials submitted should document efforts to identify an issue that threatens or could threaten an organization. The programming to manage that issue to effectively support the organization should be explained. Explain how and why this program was conceived and how it was implemented. Describe goals and audiences.

Issues by their nature often span multiple years. The entry should focus on issue management work completed in the previous year and define the time that the work is focused on.  If work on the issue was entered in a previous year, this entry must demonstrate significant change in strategy or implementation.

Materials submitted must include an integrated strategic plan that identifies the issue and its context; target audience(s) and goals; description of strategies, activities and/or tactics adopted; message development; communications vehicles used [face to face meetings, town meetings, materials produced (e.g., brochures, sales letters, news releases, ads, PSAs)];and/or a description of the promotional event(s) and activities completed; and an assessment of the efficacy of the communication effort. The assessment of results need not be complicated, formal or expensive, but it should provide some indication that the goals outlined in the strategic plan were achieved as a result of the issues management effort.

Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences
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